Masiyiwa: It’s all about jobs, stupid!

via Masiyiwa: It’s all about jobs, stupid! 03/11/2013  by Richard Chidza NewZimbabwe

THE complexion of an investor is no longer relevant and focus must now shift to the creation of jobs, decent jobs, telecoms mogul Strive Masiyiwa has told African governments.

Masiyiwa is the executive chairman of technology behemoth Econet Wireless which was started in Zimbabwe and now has interests across the continent as well as in the South America, the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.

In a speech on employment creation in Africa delivered at the Obasanjo Foundation last week Masiyiwa laid into African governments that continue to persist with loss-making state entities.

“Unless your country has a unique resource that no one else has, the truth of the matter is you have to compete for investment, even with your neighbours, because everyone wants it, from America, to China, to Zambia,” he said.

“Even the British were forced to allow the sale of marquee companies like Land Rover, and British Steel, to foreign investors, from India, who pumped in money, and created jobs.

“Even in other African countries, we are technically foreign investors, there are no special considerations given for the fact that we are an African multinational. We are a ‘foreign’ investor in some 17 countries around the world except Zimbabwe my homeland.

“The world has changed; foreign investors are no longer just companies from western countries. In our business, our most fierce competitors come from countries like China, India, Mexico, the Middle East, Nigeria, as well as South Africa.

Masiyiwa said Africa needed “quality” investors as well as expertise and capital injections to extract the resources that it boosts of having.

“And if you make unreasonable demands, the quality investors do not quarrel with you, they just leave quietly, and you will be left to the mercy of chancers, or bottom feeders, who promise you the moon, and deliver nothing, and also rip you off,” the self-made billionaire.

The South Africa-based tycoon said with half of Africa’s population below 25 years of age the continent needed to create 500 million jobs in the next decade.

He said he was inspired is inspired by China’s late leader Deng Zhaoping of China who changed China’s development trajectory following his takeover from communist leader Mao Tse-tung.


“In opening the door to foreign investment, Zhaoping said, ‘I do not care what colour the cat is, as long as it catches mice’.

“For me the ‘mice’ are ‘decent jobs’ for the youth. I shudder to think what China, would have been like, if he had not opened up the country to massive investment, and creation of jobs,” said Masiyiwa who is considered Zimbabwe’s richest man at over US$1 billion.

If Africa is to overcome the problem of poverty and joblessness the continent needed to move at 10 times the speed with which it is moving at the moment, he added.

He singled out Rwandan leader Paul Kagame and Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan as a new crop of African leaders who understand what it meant to create decent jobs and economic transformation to eradicate the poverty which is stalking Africa.



  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 10 years ago

    To right Strive. But tell that to our stubborn so called elected politicians.

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    nesbert majoni 10 years ago

    ZANU pf goons are a group of a Mafia organisation possessed with power hunger. They don’t care about the suffering povo. They would rather lose massive investment opportunities than to listen to economic advice from a white man. In fact they are racists

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      Doris 10 years ago

      They have already been told by SADC that they are racist. Do they care?

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    james masawi 10 years ago

    Strive is so right.
    We have legislated that it is illegal for White Zimbabweans and foreigners to own Bakeries,Barber Shops,and retail businesses.That all white Zimbabweans and foreigners must sell 51% of their business to indiginous Zimbabweans.That any new foreign investor must have an indiginous partner who must own 51% of the business.
    How will any foreign investor invest under such conditions?.Time will tell.
    It is also a racist act to discriminate against white Zimbabweans,and this racism must be condemned by the same international community and the OAU which condemned racism in Rhodesia and South Africa.

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    /./././????;: 10 years ago

    masiyiwa for presidency and just imagine zim being the fastest growing economy in the whole WORLD

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    maisokwazo 10 years ago

    I didn’t know Masiyiwa was a billionaire yet so humble and down to earth, no wonder why Mugabe loathes him. His wealth is not from corrupt and shody deals but from an honest man work . I remember very well when Mugabe tried to stifle Strive Masiyiwa’s God given talent.Mugabe’s cohorts tried to deny him a license to operate the first mobile network in Zimbabwe by awarding a NetOne and Telcell licences to try to topple and render Masiyiwa vision unattainable. Shame to you Mugabe Shame to you Joice. How would you now look Masiyiwa in the face knowing fully well that you wanted to pin him down? Masiyiwa is now more important than his distractors. Listen and take heed you scoundrels it is about creating employment and investment and not stashing millions of stolen money in Swiss bank stupid. Masiyiwa is now far ahead of you and you ought to listen to him as he is the darling of the nation uncorrupted and unstoppable even when Mugabe tried to stop Masiyiwa. If it was’nt for Joshua Nkomo who stood with Masiyiwa when Joice Mujuru connived with Makamba to topple him Zimbabwe would have been as backward as never seen before. So Thanks to you Strive Thanks for standing for good and for that which is good and shaming the devil and his archangels.

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      ordain 10 years ago

      I am humbled by this speech from a true visionary.we rarely hear this from the majority of our politicians.ARISE AFRICA,ARISE.o

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      todii zvazvo 10 years ago

      Maisokwazo, wanzwei mwana wamai.kwanzi kuVictoria Falls retreat last week they were ploting to destroy ecocash by saying its not following banking regulations.This was lead by none other Kereke and i think jonso moyo is behind this all.It shows that these guys are really searious about destroying this ecinomy neavo vanobudirira.

      Hezvo we told them dont just give our children drugs. so far deaths are now being recorded isu vanhu vacho takangonyarara.nxa!

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    Cde Hondo 10 years ago

    I can can just imagine what Africa would be like if it had half of the presidents with such a powerful mindset. I wonder what Zimbabwe would be like if it had a president with this mindset. This is wisdom not intelligence which Mugabe brags about. Intelligence offers nothing except trickery whilst wisdom offers proper vision. The problem with Africa is not the West, it’s not sanctions. It’s the mindset. With a mindset like that of Mugabe and his henchmen, Africa will never know progress. I rest my case. Thank you Dr Strive Masiyiwa. The world needs more people like you. May God bless you with long life.

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    Hats off to the late father of the nation Dr Joshua Nkomo for he stood by Masiyiwa under difficult conditions from Zanu pf. It was such an incredible and considerate mammoth task he executed during the infant of Masiyiwa’s empire.

    I remember very well at one time he was refered as an oldman who forgets his past….
    None other that the current VP,she was incharge of the ministry.
    Masiyiwa owes a lot the late Joshua Nkomo.

    However,in life you reap what you sow,
    Masiyiwa is God oriented hardworking man, he is a true nationalist by deeds.
    He talks less and reserves his energy for action.

    We salute you Dr Joshua Nkomo and respect you Strive Masiyiwa.Thank you Zimbabwe for a gifted darling son (Strive).

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    Rwendo 10 years ago

    Congratulations to Strive Masiyiwa. Although he started off with Retrofit Engineering, a company that rode on black empowerment initiatives through government construction projects, he later fell foul of ZANU PF and built his Econet empire without government support. A recent piece in Ventures magazine (Vol 5 2013) listing the 55 richest people in Africa put him at 31st position and the 10th richest in Southern Africa – if you include Angola. He was listed as the 3rd richest black Southern African billionaire (after Patrice Motsepe and Isabel Dos Santos). The list included only legitimately acquired fortunes and excluded politically positioned kleptomaniacs. In a normal Zimbabwe, Masiyiwa would probably be giving such advice as a member of a national, economic advisory think-tank; but kudos to the Obasanjo foundation too.

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    You are a hero Strive. Continue to lecture our leaders.

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    Pastor 10 years ago

    Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade.Rudyard Kipling

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    Well done Strive.When you left the company we both worked for.When you applied for a Mobile Phone Network license I knew that your choice was a good one because the country needed competition on new communication technology. Rwendo has already stated your business history prior to ECONET, I am happy that somebody of your status in the society has freely advised our leaders what type of jobs are required for the young bright Zimbabweans.If you maintain your religious integrity and humility as witnessed by the number of orphans you are looking after, your success will be multiplied many times.These so-called informal jobs are just used as excuses to manipulate jobless figures to the levels the authorities want them to be.When you wanted to do something very noble a few months ago you were warned by the authorities not to go ahead with your call rates reduction which could have benefited the public.This was done to protect your competitors who are struggling due to poor performance.Go ahead with more value added products,we will support you.

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    alutacontinua 10 years ago

    Mugabe freed us from white rule. I would rather eat grass than have white racists coming back to take over our country

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    Tabvuma 10 years ago

    Eating grass is your choice do not impose it on others. This is the 21 st century we should move on with the times . Is China a Zimbabwean territory ? God have mercy for they have ears but cannot listen . Mr Masiwa we salute you! The struggle for democracy will continue .

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      Pastor 10 years ago

      In this lovely place of earth live as far as I know and understand people of four different races: black, white, colored and yellow. BUT, the bloood is red, the sky is blue and U.S dollars are green, FOR ALL OF US.All what is required is for us to join hands with the right investors and not ZANU-PF looters and together exploit the riches of our country and in the process uplift the living standards of our people.No more xenophobia, hostility, racism, isolation and selfishness.

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    Zvichapera 10 years ago

    Alutacontinua threatens to grass if White racist come back to rule Zimbabwe!! I feel so sorry for people like these who continue to live in past and don’t see how the world has changed. We no longer speak of black or white, some of us are citizens of the world we do not have any problems with people who are different to us.Being black is your right, but your Zanu PF should be your worry right now. Let’s see you deliver with that mindset! Now you’re begging for maize from Zambia. Shame! Shame! Shame on you Aluta Continua!! Disgrtaceee.

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    Angel 10 years ago

    The mythical-religious devil is a personification of the dark or evil side of man. Mugabe is guilty of wantonly and deliberately releasing that devil in each of his followers, not only allowing but urging and compelling them to rape, murder, torture and mutilate his perceived enemies in his name. Since he religious devil only “tempted” people to follow his directions, Mugabe is in fact more evil than that devil. He is therefore an undisguised uber-devil.Mugabe attacked the West for having a hand in Zimbabwe’s ills. For all the years he has done this, one would have thought Mugabe wants nothing to do with the West, especially Britain. Unsurprisingly enough, Mugabe suffers colonial last in his personal life and order as we saw him arriving in a vintage British Bentley surrounded by police on horseback wearing colonial style pith helmets. He failed to mention the scourge of corruption that has resulted in Zimbabweans living in sham conditions. As we speak, the cities of Bulawayo and Kwekwe have gone for many weeks without proper water supplies reflecting Mugabe’s mismanagement. While others may feel that it is not Mugabe’s problem, under his watch corruption has taken root in our country and those responsible seem to have unending impunity. The harsh economic times that global markets are experiencing, the word ‘economy’ has come to be closely associated with concepts of money. What is often forgotten is that the science of economics is a much broader field that encompasses how scarce resources are disbursed throughout a population.